One of my male characteristics is my obsession to keep my tools in perfect order (and bills, papers, books and electronics too of course) to my wife’s joy and discontent. She is always complaining that she can’t find anything since everything is in MY strict order and not hers. I would love to be able to consign some of the order-keeping to her, but much to often her order look like chaos to me. I have over the years resigned my military-style order in favor for a more wife-friendly one, more straight forward and easier to understand for someone outside of my head. I think she appreciate it, at least I haven’t heard her complain about it lately.
However, the other day she came in from the garage with an abject expression on her face “I have ruined your tool suspensions and I have absolutely no energy left to fix it”. Fearing the worst, I went out to have a look. My biggest concern were the boards where I keep all my hand tools – it’s easy to knock down and a pain to put together. Luckily, she just knocked all the garden tools of their suspensions, and that is fairly easy to fix. As I stood there, sorting all the equipment by what type of tool it is and how often it is used (more frequently used ones closer to the door, of course), I thought about how proud I am over my tools. It’s strange to be proud over a thing like that. Especially when I haven’t bought anything of it, most of the tools I have are inherited in some way. For instance I have my grandfathers hand-drill, and level in hand carved wood and a really old-fashioned screwdriver with a wooden handle. I also have a “girl” hammer – and a sledgehammer, two square and five wrenches. I have many tools that I never will use, but they all seem to have place in my garage anyway. I like that my tools are a reflection of myself; versatile, rough, hard, soft, fine and all of good quality. I like that some of them a just for show, and I like that I use them anyway. The old level I have is not as accurate as the modern one, but I still use it because it makes me feel good. I like how it feels in my hand, the weight of it and the warmth from the wood. I like that it links me to my grandfather.
Out in the garage I feel a connection to this man to whom I look up to in every way. I think that he would be proud of me, taking over where he left. When I think of the kind of man I mostly want to be like, I always picture him. He was incredibly handsome, calm and always present. He had always time for me and we played a lot of different games. He was man enough to let go of prestige. He was sturdy but also humble. I feel privileged to have known him and to have been loved by him. Keeping my tools in order is a way for me to honor him. Therefore I stayed in the garage half an hour extra, just to adjust the last bits and pieces and to make him proud.

My tools

My tools

4 thoughts on “Tools

  1. I grew up in an apartment project – when something needed to be fixed you called the handyman. We had a kitchen drawer with two screwdrivers (phillips head and slot) and a hammer that we only used for hanging pictures. It is great that your grandfather knew how to use tools and was willing to share them with you, and that you have them as a reminder of who he was.


    • My grandfather worked in a hardwarestore when he was young. I still have boxes of nails from that time in their original boxes. His idea in life was to let nothing go to waste and I try to follow that. He managed to pass on a lot of knowledge to me through the years!
      I’m also lucky to live in a house with a garage so that i have place for all my and his tools…


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